Remember when you were a kid and your mom would tell you to eat your fish because it was good for you? Turns out mother did know best, especially if she were talking about sardines. Sardines are packed with protein, healthful omega-3 fats, and are super sources of vitamins B12 and D. According to The Oxford Companion to Food, sardines are “a group of fish found all round the world, all belonging to one subfamily in the highly complex group of clupeid fish (in which there are over 300 species altogether).” In other words, when you’re eating sardines, it’s not necessarily the very same fish each time, although each is just as good for you. In addition to their nutritional benefits, sardines feed on plankton and tend to be safer to consume because of lower levels of mercury and contaminants than other types of fish. They are often found canned, but restaurants are serving up sardines in all kinds of way, from a classic grilled presentation to the stellar sardine chips served at Rich Table that are receiving an array of rave reviews. Find out what OpenTable diners are saying about sardines!
* Acabar, Hollywood, California: “Some notable favorites include the sardines (I thought I didn’t like sardines until I tried their version), charred octopus, spicy shrimp skewers, and fresh oysters from the crudo bar.”
* Anassa Tavern, New York, New York: “Risotto with cuddle fish was delicious, and the sardines were grilled to perfection.”
* Cafe Lucia, Healdsburg, California: “The five-choice appetizer plate, especially the sardine paté and crusted goat cheese and almonds, was great.”
* Esca, New York, New York: “We were able to try amazingly well-prepared seafood dishes: sea urchin, sardines four ways, octopus, grilled anchovy, and clam ceviche.”
* Foreign Cinema, San Francisco, California: “Ambience was perfect, the movie was so-so (Who’s watching anyway?), but OMG ,the food was wonnnnderful from anchovy/sardine appetizer, to the best fried chicken ever and the chevre cheesecake!”
* Ink., Los Angeles, California: “This restaurant was amazing; their food blew our minds. They make Caesar salad with burrata ice cream and a sardine cracker/wafer.”
* Julienne, Santa Barbara, California: “Our friends had a flatbread with grilled local sardines, which reminded us of some of the amazing seafood gems we got this summer in Scotland.”